HOMEOWNER TIPS: YARD SAFETY

Speaker of the House Inspection Services offers the following tips about yard safety.

Yard

A swimming pool should have a fence or barrier surrounding all four sides with self-closing and self-latching gates. If the house is part of the barrier, all doors leading from the house to the pool should be protected with an alarm. Position latches out of reach of young children. Keep all doors and windows leading to the pool area secure to prevent small children from getting to the pool.
Never leave a child unsupervised near a pool. During social gatherings at or near a pool, appoint a "designated watcher" to protect young children from pool accidents. Adults may take turns being the "watcher." When adults become preoccupied, children are at risk. If a child is missing, check the pool first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability. Go to the edge of the pool and scan the entire pool, bottom and surface, as well as the pool area.
Tables and chairs should be placed well away from the pool fence to prevent children from climbing into the pool area.
Have a telephone at poolside to avoid having to leave children unattended in or near the pool to answer a telephone elsewhere. Keep emergency numbers at the poolside telephone.
Learn CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). Keep rescue equipment by the pool.
Divers should observe the following precautions. Never dive into aboveground pools. They are too shallow. Don't dive from the side of an in-ground pool. Enter the water feet first. Dive only from the end of the diving board and not from the sides. Dive with your hands in front of you and always steer up immediately upon entering the water to avoid hitting the bottom or sides of the pool. Don't dive if you have been using alcohol or drugs because your reaction time may be too slow. Improper use of pool slides presents the same danger as improper diving techniques. Never slide down head first; slide down feet first only.
Always store pesticides away from children's reach, in a locked cabinet or garden shed. Read the label first and follow the directions to the letter, including all precautions and restrictions. Before applying pesticides (indoors and outdoors), remove children and their toys from the area and keep them away until it is dry or as recommended by the label. Never leave pesticides unattended when you are using them -- not even for a few
minutes. Never transfer pesticides to other containers -- children may associate certain containers with food or drink. Use child-resistant packaging properly by closing the container tightly after use. Alert others to the potential hazard, especially grandparents and caregivers.

Use paint strippers outdoors if possible. If you must use them indoors, cross-ventilate by opening all doors and windows. Make sure there is fresh air movement throughout the room. Ventilate the area before, during, and after applying and stripping. Never use any paint stripper in a poorly ventilated area. If work must be done indoors under low ventilation conditions, consider having the work done professionally instead of attempting it yourself. Do not use flammable paint strippers near any source of sparks, flame, or high heat. Do not work near gas stoves, kerosene heaters, gas or electric water heaters, gas or electric clothes dryers, gas or electric furnaces, gas or electric space heaters, sanders, buffers, or other electric hand tools. Open flames, cigarettes, matches, lighters, pilot light, or electric sparks can cause the chemicals in the paint strippers to suddenly catch fire.


The Speaker Says